2015 Camden Conference



February 20-22, 2015

The 28th Annual Camden Conference, Russia Resurgent, was presented live from the Camden Opera House, and live-streamed to the Strand Theatre in Rockland, and the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast, February 20 – 22. 2015.

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“An absolutely phenomenal experience!”

“The group you gathered was absolutely first rate and I was deeply honored to have the chance to keynote for such a high-end event.”
— Matt Rojansky, Keynote Speaker

“These speakers accomplished more in a friendly debate by educating their audience and moving past their differences of opinions than our leaders do today.” (Attendee)

“Thank you for a truly riveting experience last weekend—I came away deeply impressed with the energy of the organizers and the audience.” — Constanze Stelzenmuller, Speaker

“It was an excellently well-planned and organized conference with a highly informed audience. I found it unusually stimulating.” — Daniel Treisman, Speaker

“This year’s Camden Conference [was] absolutely amazing…one continuous increasingly gratifying experience from beginning to end.” (Attendee)

Russia Resurgent gathered experts from Russia, China, Germany and the U.S. to offer in depth background and analysis on the Russian economy, its domestic and foreign policies, the crisis in Ukraine, and the role of history and Russian nationalism in the present circumstances. Lively presentations and discussions addressed the current situation and scenarios for the future of the Russian state and the balance of world order, and engaged the audience with diplomats and academics in a dynamic exchange.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, returned to moderate the Conference, inviting the audience to have ample opportunity to join in the conversation.

Russia was last a Camden Conference topic in 1994. At that time, after four decades of the Cold War, Russia was engaged in a controversial sell-off of its huge mineral resources; its population was in decline; and it had few friends and admirers. The ensuing decades saw a rapid rise in its economy, a stabilization of its population, and Russia again became a force to be reckoned with, now exemplified by Russia’s move last year into Crimea and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

The 2015 Camden Conference offered attendees a deeper understanding of the attitudes informing Russian actions, from the experience of Vladimir Putin to the historical and political forces that have created the current narratives.



2015 Conference Highlights

WATCH the Camden Conference:



Friday February 20, 2015

8 PM Welcome
Sarah Miller
President, Camden Conference

Amb. Nicholas Burns, Moderator
Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School

Keynote Address
Matthew Rojansky
Director, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center

Saturday February 21, 2015

8:45 AM Opening Remarks
Amb. Nicholas Burns, Moderator
Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics, Harvard Kennedy School

9:00 AM Nina Tumarkin
Professor of History at Wellesley College
Associate, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University

9:30 AM Nikolay Petrov
Professor of Faculty of Politics at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow

10:00 AM Break

10:30 AM Daniel Treisman
Professor of Political Science, UCLA

11:00 AM Panel of Keynote and Morning Speakers

Lunch Break

1:30 PM Amb. Steven Pifer
Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution

2:00 PM Constanze Stelzenmuller
Senior Fellow, Center on the United States and Europe, the Brookings Institution

2:30 PM Break

3:00 PM Lanxin Xiang
Professor of International History and Politics, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

3:30 PM Panel of Afternoon Speakers

4:30 PM Adjourn for the Day

Sunday February 22, 2015

9:00 AM Thomas Graham
Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University Managing Director, Kissinger Associates

9:45 AM Fyodor Lukyanov
International journalist and political analyst. Editor in Chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs

10:30 AM Break

11:00 AM Final Panel of All Speakers

12:30 PM Conference Adjourns





Keynote Speaker:
Matthew Rojanski

Matthew Rojansky, Director of the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, is an expert on U.S. and Russian national security and nuclear weapons policy. His work focuses on relations among the U.S., NATO, and the states of the former Soviet Union, particularly Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. From 2010 to 2013, he was Deputy Director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He founded Carnegie’s Ukraine Program, led a multi-year project to support U.S.–Russia health cooperation, and created a task force on the Moldova–Transnistria conflict. From 2007 to 2010, Rojansky served as executive director of the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA), where he orchestrated high-level bipartisan initiatives aimed at repairing the U.S.–Russia relationship, strengthening the U.S. commitment to nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, and leveraging global science engagement for diplomacy. Rojansky is a participant in the Dartmouth Dialogues, a U.S.–Russia conflict-resolution initiative begun in 1960.

R. Nicholas Burns

Nicholas Burns is Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Board Member of Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He retired from the State Department in April 2008 after a distinguished career spanning 27 years. From 2005 until his retirement, Burns was Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs—the third-ranking position in the State Department—where he led U.S. negotiations with Iran, India, and Kosovo and supervised U.S. diplomacy in all regions of the world. Burns also was U.S. Ambassador to NATO and to Greece. He was the State Department Spokesman for two years and spent five years on the National Security Council (NSC) staff, including serving as Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton, focusing on the former Soviet Union. Under President George H. W. Bush, he was Director for Soviet (and then Russian) Affairs on the National Security Council.



Nikolay Petrov

Nikolay Petrov
is a Professor in the Faculty of Politics at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Fundamental Studies, Laboratory for Qualitative and Quantitative Methods of Analysis of Political Regimes. A noted political scientist and political geographer, he has contributed many articles to leading Russian and foreign media and is a regular columnist for the English-language Moscow Times. He is the co-author and editor of The Dynamics of Russian Politics: Putin’s Reform of Federal–Regional Relations, published in 2005, and co-editor (with Maria Lipman) of Russia 2025: Scenarios for the Future, published in 2013. Petrov is the former chair of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s Society and Regions Project. From 1990 to 1995, he was an adviser to the Russian Parliament. He is a graduate of the Geographical and Economics Faculty of Moscow State University and holds a PhD in Geography.


Steven Pifer

Steven Pifer
Steven Pifer is the Director of the Brookings Institution Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative. He is also a Senior Fellow with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, and with the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. A former Ambassador to Ukraine (1998 to 2000), Pifer had a long Foreign Service career that centered on Europe, the former Soviet Union, and arms control and security issues. Pifer had postings in London, Moscow, Geneva, and Warsaw, as well as on the National Security Council. He has frequently provided commentary and analysis on CNN, NPR, BBC, VOA, and Fox News. Pifer is coauthor of The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms, published in 2012. He is a board member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, a senior adviser to the U.S.–Ukraine Business Council, and a member of the Nuclear Security Working Group.

Constanze Stelzenmüller

Constanze Stelzenmüller
is the inaugural Robert Bosch senior fellow with the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. Previously, she was a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where she directed the influential Transatlantic Trends survey program. Her areas of expertise include: transatlantic relations; German foreign policy; NATO; the EU’s foreign, security and defense policy; international law; and human rights. Stelzenmüller is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a fellow of the Royal Swedish Society for War Sciences. She has worked in Germany and the United States; has been a frequent commentator on American and European radio and TV; and speaks English, French, German, and Spanish. She holds a doctorate in law from the University of Bonn, a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a law degree from the University of Bonn.


Nina Tumarkin

Nina Tumarkin
is Professor of History at Wellesley College and a longtime Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Her expertise includes current Russian cultural politics; comparative national memories of war; and official apologies for historical wrongdoings. In 1985, before President Reagan’s first summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, Tumarkin served as one of six “Soviet experts” who briefed the president and his staff. She is the author of several books, including The Living and the Dead: The Rise and Fall of the Cult of World War II in Russia (Basic Books, 1995), and Lenin Lives! The Lenin Cult in Soviet Russia (Harvard University Press, 1997). Her current research project is titled “Coming to Grips with the Soviet Past: The Politics of Historical Memory in Russia, 2005–2012.” She has lectured on many Wellesley alumni trips in Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Baltic.


Lanxin Xiang

Lanxin Xiang
is Professor of International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. He previously was Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Clemson University in South Carolina. During the year 2003–2004, Xiang held the Kissinger Chair of Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress. He was a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in Germany in 1989 and an Olin Fellow at Yale University in 2003. Xiang has held chairs at Fudan University in Shanghai and China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. He founded the Trilateral Forum, providing a venue for top-level policymakers to discuss China. He is a contributing editor for the publication Survival at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London, and Dushu Magazine in Beijing. Xiang received his PhD from the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.


Fyodor Lukyanov

Fyodor Lukyanov
is an international journalist and political analyst based in Moscow. Since 2002, he has been Editor in Chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs, published by the Foreign Policy Research Foundation. He is Chairman of Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, the oldest Russian NGO, providing expertise in security and foreign affairs. He is also a Presidium Member of the nonprofit organization Russian Council on Foreign Affairs. Lukyanov’s previous positions include Senior Editor, Department for Broadcasting to Northern Europe, “Voice of Russia,” on International Moscow Radio (1990–1993); International Correspondent for the newspaper Segodnya (1994–1997); Editor of the international desk of the Vremya MN newspaper (1997–2000); and Deputy Editor in Chief of the Vremya Novostei newspaper (2000–2002). A graduate of the philological faculty of Moscow State University, he is fluent in German, Swedish, and English, in addition to his native Russian.


Daniel Treisman

Daniel Treisman is Professor of Political Science at UCLA and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His work focuses on Russian politics and economics and comparative political economy. Educated at Oxford and Harvard University, he has published four books and numerous articles in leading political science and economics journals. He has also served as a consultant for the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In Russia, he is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Higher School of Economics and a member of the Jury of the National Prize in Applied Economics. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a visiting fellow at both the Hoover Institution and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. His most recent book, The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev (2011), was named one of the Financial Times’s “Best Political Books of 2011.”

Thomas Graham

Thomas Graham

Thomas Graham is a managing director at Kissinger Associates, focusing on Russian and Eurasian affairs. He was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia on the NSC staff from 2004 to 2007 and the National Security Council’s Director for Russian Affairs from 2002 to 2004. Prior to that, he served as the State Department’s Associate Director of the Policy Planning Staff. From 1998 to 2001, Graham was a Senior Associate in the Russia/Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 1984 to 1998, as a Foreign Service Officer, he had two tours of duty at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, where he served as head of the political/internal unit and acting Political Counselor. Between Moscow assignments, he worked on Russian and Soviet affairs on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff and as a policy assistant in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

Elena Poptodorova

Elena Poptodorova

Elena Poptodorova is our special Guest Panelist. Elena Poptodorova has served as Bulgarian Ambassador to the United States since 2010, having held the same position from 2002 to 2008, a period in which Bulgaria joined NATO and the European Union. In the interim, she led the Security Policy Directorate at Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served as Ambassador-at-Large for the Black Sea Region. Although Ambassador Poptodorova began her professional life as a diplomat, she was also involved in politics in the 1990s as a member of Parliament, serving on the foreign policy, national security, radio and TV, human rights and agriculture committees. She was awarded degrees in English, Italian and international relations in Bulgaria and also studied at Leeds University in England and the University of Siena in Italy. She is currently deputy chair of the Board of Trustees of the American University in Bulgaria. She speaks English, Italian, French and Russian, in addition to her native Bulgarian.




In preparation for our 28th Annual Camden Conference, Russia Resurgent, the Program Committee recommends the following books, films, websites and readings. An asterisk* denotes that the author is a confirmed speaker at this year’s Conference.






Open Registration begins December 1, 2014.
STUDENT REGISTRATION – Limited tickets at student rates for full-time students:
Please call the office (207) 236.1034 or e-mail info@camdenconference.org for details.